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Checking up on Jupiter and Saturn

Emily Lakdawalla • February 10, 2012

It's amateur astronomers, not professionals, who are shouldering the burden of constant monitoring of the weather on Jupiter and Saturn. What's going on these days in the outer solar system?

Photos and video: Bill Nye at the 2012 White House Science Fair

Emily Lakdawalla • February 09, 2012

On Tuesday, Bill Nye was privileged to attend the second White House Science Fair. Here are some photos and video of the event.

Put New Horizons on a stamp

Emily Lakdawalla • February 09, 2012

A week ago, the New Horizons team announced an effort to gather signatures in support of a petition to the U.S. Postal Service to commemorate the historic flyby of Pluto on a stamp.

In memory of Susan Niebur

Emily Lakdawalla • February 08, 2012

Planetary scientist Susan Niebur passed away on February 6, 2012, of inflammatory breast cancer. While I did not know Susan very well personally, I knew her professionally as a staunch supporter of and passionate organizer for young people, women, and families in planetary science.

Has Mars Express MARSIS data proved that Mars once had a northern ocean?

Emily Lakdawalla • February 07, 2012

There's been a bit of buzz on the Web this week regarding an ESA press release titled "ESA's Mars Express radar gives strong evidence for former Mars ocean." I don't ordinarily write about press-released science papers, but am making an exception for this one.

NuSTAR telescope to get close look at black holes, supernovae

Jason Davis • February 07, 2012

The NuSTAR X-ray telescope will enable scientists to get a much-improved look at black holes and supernovae in both the Milky Way and other galaxies.

Planetary Radio: A Modest Plea For Both Big and Not-So-Big Space Science Funding

Mat Kaplan • February 06, 2012

This weeks Planetary Radio features updates on the James Webb Space Telescope, from Deputy Project Director Eric Smith. The discussion centers around the budget controversy, and why the JWST is worth the money.

Phobos-Grunt Failure Report Released

Louis D. Friedman • February 06, 2012

It appears that Phobos-Grunt was doomed before it launched on November 9, 2011. Cheap parts, design shortcomings, and lack of pre-flight testing ensured that the spacecraft would never fulfill its goals.

Pretty picture: Enceladus, in lovely color

Emily Lakdawalla • February 06, 2012

Here's an awesome picture to start off the week. The data came from Cassini's flyby of Enceladus on January 31, 2011; it was part of Cassini's January 2012 data release.

The Arecibo Trip

Bill Nye • February 03, 2012

I have just returned from my first Planetary Society-sponsored trip to Puerto Rico and this historic, remarkable, big idea of a telescope.

Six days in the crater (day one)

Pat Donohue • February 03, 2012

This is the first in a series of posts based on field notes and memories supplemented by background reading material from the Meteor Crater Field Camp that was held from October 17-23, 2010.

SpaceUp unconference in San Diego on Saturday

Emily Lakdawalla • February 02, 2012

This weekend is SpaceUp unconference in San Diego, and I'll be attending on Saturday. You can still register if you want to attend, but if you can't, some part of the unconference will be webcast on Spacevidcast.

Yay for Juno! First major course correction complete

Emily Lakdawalla • February 02, 2012

JPL issued a news note today that the Jupiter-bound Juno spacecraft has successfully completed the first of twelve trajectory correction maneuvers it'll perform between launch last year and Jupiter arrival in 2016. Its next maneuver will take place in August of this year. Go Juno!

Watch the video from this week's Google+ Space Hangout

Emily Lakdawalla • February 02, 2012

This week's lineup included him and me as well as Pamela Gay, Nicole Gugliucci, Alan Boyle, and Ian O'Neill.

GRAIL MoonKAM's first (released) video of the Moon

Emily Lakdawalla • February 01, 2012

Here's the first release from MoonKAM, tiny cameras included on both GRAIL spacecraft whose only purpose is public outreach. Classrooms can sign up for opportunities to propose sites to image.

Post for Sandra Boynton: An apology for, and explanation of, my crescent-Moon pedantry

Emily Lakdawalla • February 01, 2012

A recent tweet by Al Yankovic tipped me to the fact that the children's book author, songwriter, and illustrator Sandra Boynton recently established a presence on Twitter. As I'm a huge fan of her oeuvre, I immediately followed her.

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